The assertion that the History of Science can inform us of how modern Science works is growing in popularity and is implicit in the NGSS section on the Nature of Science (NOS). This may be true, but only in a limited sense, which has not been carefully scrutinized. If understanding twentieth and twenty-first century Science is the purpose, then only historical examples that illuminate it are relevant to the standards.

An example that has nothing to do with the process of modern Science (even though it is suggested in NGSS Appendix H!) is the Galileo story. First, Galileo was arguing with the Catholic Church and faith-based dogma, not a community of scientists using reason and evidence to invent explanations founded in natural causes. Second, the standard narrative teaches the lesson that an individual scientist (who is the sole shining arbiter of “truth”!) must have the “honesty” to confront “corrupt orthodoxy”...

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